Ukrainian Defense Ministry: Russia intends to escalate military action in the Donbas in response to American sanctions

In response to the tightening of US sanctions as well as the US’s expected allocation of lethal weapons to Ukraine, Russia is planning a number of military and organizational events which will improve its abilities to escalate combat action in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, reports, citing a high-ranking source in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

“We are noting that alongside the increase in intensity of combat and, correspondingly, shipments of ammunition and weapons for its groups of forces in the Donbas, Moscow is considering the matter of legalizing and admitting not only humanitarian, but also military aid, to ‘people’s republics’” the media outlet’s source stated.

Furthermore, a decision has been made by the Russian command to abandon the practice of appointing local collaborators (including those based in Crimea) to lower level command positions (platoon commander, battalion commander) and to return to the appointment of only regular officers of the Russian Armed Forces to such positions. The intention is for this step to improve the manageability of forces in the separatist-held regions of the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, first and foremost at the first echelon of the existing corps.

As reported, on August 2, US President Donald Trump signed a bill introducing sanctions against Iran, North Korea and Russia. The primary significance of the new law is that it deprives the president of the ability to lift the sanctions against Russia without the consent of Congress.

The law consolidates and supplements the large number of documents on sanctions against Russia adopted previously, following the annexation of the Crimea and the start of the conflict in the Donbas. The document does not directly introduce any new measures, and does not obligate the president to introduce them.

  Donbas, Russia, Sanctions on Russia, USA, Ukraine